Situation: Suzanne Smith has been in foster care since 2000. Each month her SSI payment exceeds her current needs so that her conserved funds exceed the $2,000 resource limit in June 2002. Her payee, the Department of Social Services (DSS), fails to report the excess resources. The excess amount is discovered in a March 2003 audit and in April 2003 DSS returns all of the conserved funds in excess of $2,000 because DSS believed Suzanne was overpaid.
Analysis: The conserved funds are Suzanne’s resources through April 2003. When the funds over $2,000 are returned to SSA they are no longer her resources because her payee intended them as a voluntary repayment of the overpayment caused by excess resources. The $2,000 retained by DSS continues to be her resource. SSA will compute the overpayment and offset the overpayment with the returned funds. If the amount of returned funds exceeds the overpayment, the remaining funds must be reissued to the payee and will be Suzanne’s resource as of the first of the next month.